Howard Plays Strong First Half But Runs Out of Gas In Loss To Pitt
Pittsburgh, PA—November 27—Playing their sixth game in 13 days and with a short bench, Howard University battled and played its best first half of the season, but they ran out of gas in the second half and fell 70-46 to the University of Pittsburgh at the Petersen Events Center.
Phillips also was a factor with 8 points on 4 of 8 shooting from the field. Boyomo did not score, but his rebounding and inside presence was a key factor in the Bison holding a whopping 24-10 advantage in the paint.
"This is nothing new for us," said Howard Coach Kevin Nickelberry. "We have played well in the first half of all of our games this season. Our problems have come in the second half."
The Panthers (6-1) countered the Howard inside game with some torrid outside shooting, mainly from Lamar Patterson and James Robinson, who combined to go 6 for 6 from beyond the arc as Pitt shot 60 percent from three-point range and led 36-28 at the half.
Using its depth, the Panthers began to wear down the undermanned Bison, using a 20-5 run to open up a comfortable margin, but more importantly to wear down the game, but fatigued Bison. After shooting 50 percent from the field in the first half, Howard wavered and missed 17 of 23 for 26 percent in the final 20 minutes.
"They did a good job of playing physical in the second half," said Nickelberry. "We are playing with only seven scholarship players and when our bigs, Alphonso and Theo got in foul trouble in the second half, it changed the game. We had to become less aggressive and to their credit, they took advantage of it."
The Panthers changed the dynamics of the game by winning the points-in-the-paint battle, 20-10. Their bench also had the advantage, 15-6.
Simuel Frazier led Howard with 12 points, Leary with and Phillips with 8 points and 7 rebounds. Howard was credited with a season-high 9 blocks and outrebounded Pitt, 37-36.
"Despite the loss, I am proud of the way that the team battled," praised Nickelberry. "We have to play a little smarter and learn to out two halves of basketball together."
The Panthers were led by Patterson with 15, Talib Zanna with 12, 10 coming in the second half and Robinson and Tray Woodall with 11 points each.